Are Your Pets Healthy Update . . .

Have you ever made something to eat that was so good you couldn’t stop eating it? Yesterday I made a carrot soup that was just divine. It had chia seeds in it, which gave it a luscious texture. I’ll be sharing the recipe later, but first I wanted to give you an update on my experience on healing your pet with food.

Angel was bottle fed as a kitten. Her mother was feral.
Angel was bottle fed as a kitten. Her mother was feral.
The only thing positive I can see is that they want you to recycle the can.
The only thing positive I can see is that they want you to recycle the can.

I reported a few weeks back that my cat, Angel, was diagnosed with hypercalcemia (too much calcium in her system). It is expensive to treat, basically because it is idiopathic (of unknown cause), so I decided that I was going to take the holistic approach.

What I did was change her diet, which meant I also changed the diet for the other three cats as well. I stopped feeding her Friskies, which I am sorry I started them on to begin with. It’s not just the human food industry that is killing us, but the pet food industry is killing our four-legged companions as well,

So I went on a quest to find the highest quality food for my animals. I have eliminated any food that has grain in it. I have also eliminated grain from my own personal diet as well, and I can’t tell you how much better I feel. The cats are particularly spoiled now as they are being fed canned tuna, and a no grain dry cat food that has the minimum of processed ingredients.

There are still some additive in here, but no by-products.
There are still some additives in here, but no by-products or fillers. One can feeds my four cats twice a day.

Last week when I took Angel to the vet to have her teeth cleaned, a service provided by my Banfield preventive maintenance plan, and her blood work came back normal. Yes, I am paying a bit more for the dry food, but the tuna for cats that I am buying at Trader Joe’s is less expensive than the Friskies I was buying at my discount club store. To me this proves, yet again, that if we watch our diets, and read our labels, we can live a healthy lifestyle. I’m also a believer in good dental care, but we can go into that at a later date.

Here is an excerpt from Animal Planet’s Web site regarding ingredients in pet food. “AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) guidelines require ingredients to be listed in descending order according to the weight of each item added to the mix, so that’s a good place to start in terms of determining the quality of the food. Keep in mind though, even when an item such as chicken, cattle, lamb or turkey is listed as the primary ingredient, this can include skeletal muscle, nerves, blood vessels and other parts found within the clean flesh of slaughtered animals. This is where such terms as “100 percent” can be really helpful in terms of clarifying the contents.

What you don’t want to see is the pairing of the term “by-product” with any meat or poultry terms, as this refers to cleaned parts such as internal organs, and there’s still much debate about exactly what elements go into by-product production. According to the Animal Protection Institute (API), certain pet food companies were accused in the past of including carcasses and road kill in their by-products mix, and some industry insiders reportedly admitted to it. Though today pet companies universally deny such practices, there are no regulations or laws preventing them from doing so.

One ingredient most experts seem to agree on as something to avoid is anything that acts as filler, such as oats, flour, wheat, corn and peanut hulls—all of which have little to no nutritional value. Note: Some manufacturers will break out these types of ingredients into a number of different terms to make it seem like there’s less present in the mix, so read carefully. Preservatives—such as BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole, a fat preservative) and Ethoxyquin (a chemical preservative used to prevent spoilage in dog food)—also show up in the pet food manufacturing process, and you should try to steer clear of these as well.”

Here is another Web site that will help you understand what your pets are eating. All this is to say, please look for holistic pet food.

Optimal Pet Food
Remember, I promised you a really good carrot soup recipe? Well here it is.

Chia Carrot Coconut Soup
Creamy Chia Coconut Ginger-Carrot Soup, click here for the recipe.

Two things I did differently was sautéed my onions in coconut oil first, and added the coconut milk all at once later. I also didn’t have fresh ginger so I put in a teaspoon of ground ginger instead, and I used homemade chicken stock instead of the vegetable stock. Please use organic ingredients.

This recipe originally came from The Chia Cookbook: Inventive, Delicious Recipes Featuring Nature’s Superfood. For more Chia recipes, I highly suggest you buy the book.

Chia Pet
Click here for the health benefits of Chia seeds. And you thought they were only good for making chia pets.

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